Did you gifted child have trouble sleeping as a tot or still? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a gifted 14 month old (I'm a pediatric nurse and have discussed with her doctor multiple times, right now, she is beyond all 24 month milestones).

I practice attachment parenting in that she sleeps with me when she chooses (she has a toddler bed and likes to sleep in it), baby led weaning and I was lucky enough to only put in her daycare while I'm in classes a few times a week.

 

Our issue is with her sleep and I'm not sure of the cause. At 6 months, she was still waking up every 4 hours or so, most nights, to have a bottle. But I pinned it on her extreme (yet, healthy) growth patterns. Currently, I put her down by laying her in her bed and patting her back/being present until she is asleep. (after we have cuddled for a bottle). If she is in my bed, we usually cuddle.

About an hour or so later, she wakes up crying. usually, all it takes is me patting her on the back for her to go back to sleep. This continues every hour or so until I am in bed. If she is in her toddler bed, it keeps going, so i am sure im just patting her on the back in my sleep.

I worry that I have set up this pattern, because when she couldn't get out of the bed herself, I hurried in there at her cries so there wasn't a chance at her getting hurt. However as soon as she was in and out on her own, I have let her be for longer amounts of time to see if she is going to wind up or put her self back to sleep. (never letting her get upset, just not interrupting her until I was really needed)

There is always an excuse for her being up and down, but it is constant. (ie. her nose is stuffy, the change in her schedule, the changes around here...)

 

I have wondered if this is related to her rapid growth, mentally and physically. So I thought I would see if any of you remember having the same issue. I know she dreams a lot and since the timing is usually in a pattern, I thought it might be cycle related.

Thoughts, advise, questions, all welcome!!

Thank you!


FTM, DD (09/17/11), trying to find our perfect balance between commercial and crunchy

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#2 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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Well, yeah--mine still does at nearly 9yo, and it was REALLY bad until he was 3-1/2yo--when we introduce fish oil.  Within 10 days it was DRASTICALLY different.

 

It's possible that your gifted infant may also come with some special needs.  A lot of them do.  This may be related to them--so be cautious to make sure you rule out bona fide problems, too... kwim?  Mine also started out in the other direction: he was profoundly delayed.


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#3 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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My gifted ds had extreme sleep issues until he had OT for vestibular and proprioceptive processing. His sleep greatly improved in the 6 months of services he received. We maintained a sensory diet for him for a couple years that I believe helped. He is now 6 and sleeps well, still has trouble going to sleep many nights but after he does he sleeps well.

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#4 of 15 Old 11-20-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post

My gifted ds had extreme sleep issues until he had OT for vestibular and proprioceptive processing. His sleep greatly improved in the 6 months of services he received. We maintained a sensory diet for him for a couple years that I believe helped. He is now 6 and sleeps well, still has trouble going to sleep many nights but after he does he sleeps well.

 

Exactly mine except the OT didn't solve it (but wicked vestibular and proprioceptive issues and other sensory problems)


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#5 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

Well, yeah--mine still does at nearly 9yo, and it was REALLY bad until he was 3-1/2yo--when we introduce fish oil.  Within 10 days it was DRASTICALLY different.

 

 

What made you try fish oil?  I think I started looking here first, mostly because I was sure it was just my co-sleeping that set it up. I think hearing you all NOT say that it was, has let me actually look at other areas. 

 

I will def talk to the doc about it soon and I'm watching out for any other things that might pop. 


FTM, DD (09/17/11), trying to find our perfect balance between commercial and crunchy

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#6 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post

My gifted ds had extreme sleep issues until he had OT for vestibular and proprioceptive processing. His sleep greatly improved in the 6 months of services he received. We maintained a sensory diet for him for a couple years that I believe helped. He is now 6 and sleeps well, still has trouble going to sleep many nights but after he does he sleeps well.

 

What were your signs that he had vestibular and proprioceptive processing problems? 


FTM, DD (09/17/11), trying to find our perfect balance between commercial and crunchy

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#7 of 15 Old 11-24-2012, 01:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alindsay46 View Post

 

What made you try fish oil?  I think I started looking here first, mostly because I was sure it was just my co-sleeping that set it up. I think hearing you all NOT say that it was, has let me actually look at other areas. 

 

I will def talk to the doc about it soon and I'm watching out for any other things that might pop. 

 

Yeah, we weren't co-sleeping at that point.  He looked far more deeper into the spectrum back then, so he slept in his crib with no issue at all.  He had profound delays and fish oil was just on the list of things to help him function better.  We honestly didn't expect it to product a drastic response.

 

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What were your signs that he had vestibular and proprioceptive processing problems? 

 

With mine, these were apparent in how he physically moved and tolerated physical movement.  Mine couldn't handle certain types of movement--especially a swing.  But he also couldn't push heavy things and didn't really have good balance, etc.  Both vestibular and proprioceptive problems manifested in various physical activity symptoms.  He just came across as a very NOT "athletic" kid in any way, shape or form...


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#8 of 15 Old 11-26-2012, 04:57 AM
 
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My DD never slept for more than a few hours until she was about 6 years old. Even now, her sleep isn't always "restful" and she has a very hard time falling asleep. I believe the two are connected.

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#9 of 15 Old 12-02-2012, 06:27 AM
 
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My oldest never slept more than an hour or two at a time as an infant. As a toddler she was up at least once every night. As an eight-year-old, she still has trouble falling asleep at night, but once she's asleep, she can sleep through the night.
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#10 of 15 Old 12-04-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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Neither of mine slept through the night (or really, more than 2-3 hours in a stretch) until they were about 2.  DS (now 3) was and is particularly disinterested in sleeping, regardless of sleeping location, schedule, time of day, etcetc.  DD (who is almost 7), on the other hand, has always been a high-needs sleeper--she was the kid who took 3 naps a day until 15 months, 2 a day until she was 2, and only gave up naps entirely after she was 6.  She's the one with sensory issues, though, and I've always thought that maybe she just got worn out by being awake in such a simulating world and needed a break.  DS appears to be special-needs free.  They are both prone to falling asleep on books nowadays.


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#11 of 15 Old 01-08-2013, 07:33 AM
 
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My daughter is six and always has had sleep issues (falling asleep & staying asleep) despite co-sleeping and a multitude of other solutions we've tried. Even as a newborn, she seldom took naps and woke throughout the night but would never be crabby or sleepy as would have been expected during the day. Occasionally she would branch out from her usual poor sleep to wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep at all, instead being wide awake and desiring to explore, play, or try out a new found skill such as walking. When she was around six months of age, I began to take notes about her sleep and general development to see if there was a correlation between particularly bad times for sleep and developmental milestones and did come to have my suspicions confirmed. Whenever she was getting ready to experience a great leap in her physical, mental, or intellectual development, she would pull one of these "all-nighter" wakeups and would do so for a couple nights in a row. Then a new skill or discovery would arrive and she'd go back to her normal poor sleep routine. 

 

You may find it beneficial to keep a journal recording observations that may allow you to find a connection between lifestyle, development, and sleep troubles. For me, this was an interesting and encouraging project and while it didn't make up for all of my lost sleep (ha!), it has allowed me to feel better about my daughter's sleep issues as I can better understand the rhyme and reason for her particular troubles. It's also now a nice record for fun memory purposes too. All of the "all nighters" have been brutal to me physically but once I recover from the sleep deprivation it's always neat to remember why I was being kept up all night and the positive that has come from my occasionally sleepy misery. 

 

Through my journal, I have also been able to uncover a few triggers for my daughter's troubles. She is more likely to have issues falling asleep when she has not received adequate intellectual engagement and/or physical challenge during the day. If she is coming to a point where I suspect a physical or intellectual growth spurt is coming, she will experience less troubles if I take great care to offer more high quality fats and proteins than usual and provide heartier snacks before bed than I typically do otherwise. I have also realized in the last year that my daughter experiences increased difficulty falling asleep if she has not been encouraged to have some active playtime immediately before bed. Discovering this fact was especially interesting as it runs counter to what is given as common sense sleep advice by most people. If she spends some time dancing, swinging, doing pull-ups, or engaging in another physical activity, she will fall to sleep more easily. I would have never thought to try out such boisterous activity before bed without keeping this sleep journal and do believe it's a tool that might help other parents to unravel the mysteries of their child/ren's sleeping woes. 


~Daisy~

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#12 of 15 Old 01-08-2013, 07:49 AM
 
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I had one of each.

 

They both have VERY different personalities and mild special needs and I think that plays into their sleep needs.

 

DD1 dislikes sleeping and 'cant stop thinking'. She wants to go go go even if her body is screaming for her to sleep (red eyes, staring, yawning). She is a restless sleeper as well.

 

DD2 loves sleeping and always has. She uses sleep to 'escape' and process her day. She has put herself to bed since she was very young (2) if she is tired outside of the 'usual' bed/rest times.

She has high sleep needs and is sound sleeper.

 

I think that each DD has sleep patterns based on their personalities and how they process information (sensory seeker/sensory avoidance). They seem to have similar cognitive and academic skills and are the same age/same environment.

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#13 of 15 Old 01-09-2013, 03:11 AM
 
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DS1 has had horrible phases fighting sleep until he was 4, usually triggered by emotional stress (my going back to work, a new sibling). Magnesium and zincsupplements, fish oil and massages all helped calm his brain down, so has confinement/holding/physical presence. He would also wake up at night and need to cuddle at least 1 night out of 3 until then, which is why we co-slept till 4.5 or so. he now rarely comes over at night. (we continue doing the supplemenmts, but a bit erratically these days.

 

Quote:

She is more likely to have issues falling asleep when she has not received adequate intellectual engagement and/or physical challenge during the day.

 

For us, it's a fine line between adequate intellectual engagement and/or physical challenge and overstimulation and exhaustion, which make things horribly worse! So, lots of time outside helps, but rather playing in the mud or water as opposed to strenuous exercise. The routine demands of school (he's entered early and gets to do independent work, so in some aspects challenged) are good, exciting vacation days are bad. And so on. We make it up as we go along!

 

DD just needs calm and physical closeness. She will wake up at least every other night, climb over DH so she is in the midddle and cuddle with one of us.

DS2, of course, needs the boobs!


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#14 of 15 Old 01-13-2013, 07:07 AM
 
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Wow, I had never even thought to connect sleep issues with giftedness. I'm not the OP, but you have definitely given me some food for thought! DD is 5, and still struggles with sleep issues. She usually doesn't have a problem falling asleep, but getting through the whole night without waking up and coming over is hard for her. She has also had officially diagnosed night terrors in the past, and often wakes up from nightmares.

 

I like the idea of starting a sleep journal, we might try this with her to help find things that might be triggering her sleep issues.


 

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#15 of 15 Old 01-29-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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I wonder if there is a connection..

 

My older DD (almost 4) was not a great sleeper as an infant, but got much better around 1 1/2 (woke up only once or twice per night) and slept through the night most of the time from 2 on. She has a fairly mellow personality, and she is bright but not really gifted.

 

Younger DD is almost 2 and still wakes up several times in the night. She is hard to get down to sleep, too. And her personality is sooo intense. It has been obvious that she is gifted since birth. At 3 days old the midwife's assistant who did her exam could not stop going on about her range of vision and motion and head control etc etc. She was walking and talking before 12 months. She currently speaks in full sentences (in her sleep too, to my chagrain) and counts and knows all her colors. I don't teach her anything, I don't believe in pushing academics before the kids show interest at this age. And she shows interest in everything.. right now she is making huge cognitive leaps and she is talking about big concepts like the word "understand" - it's clear that she's working out the meaning of everything she says, things that are a bit too abstract for most 2 year olds and even 3 year olds. She asks me to identify letters for her, and she repeats them... She's also advanced in her motor skills, both fine and gross motor coordination.

 

Anyway I know that her intense personality is part of what makes her advanced- it's not just that she has the capacity to learn all these things ahead of her peers, it's also that she is driven to- not because she's competitive, but because she just leaves no stone unturned. And I guess that's how she is with sleep- she can't shut it off for more than 4 hours at a time (and usually less).

 

Then again, I am sure there are lots of non-gifted kids with sleeping issues, right?

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